The 2013 General Assembly Session has Commenced

Last week marked the beginning of the 2013 General Assembly Session. With it being a short session (45 days), we have a lot to do and not much time to do it.

I have already received numerous emails and calls on issues ranging from uranium mining to gun control. And with it being the first week, I am still in the process of reviewing each bill. But I thank you for your input and welcome any additional comments you may have.

In addition to the typical first-week housekeeping, the Governor made his annual State of the Commonwealth address. He highlighted a number of issues we will address in the coming weeks. For those of us in Northern Virginia, it was nice to hear the Governor mention transportation and education funding as priorities for session. It was also refreshing to hear that despite Washington D.C.’s dysfunction, Virginia continues to create jobs and balance its budget without having to raise taxes.

On a more personal note, I have filed a few bills that you might interesting. I have included a brief summary of those below. To follow any other legislation, or read these bills in full, you can go to http://www.lis.virginia.gov

HB 1350: Prohibits the use of calculators by seventh and eighth graders on the Standards of Learning

HB 1431: Increases the penalty for conspiracy to commit murder

HB 1432: Revises one of the allegations necessary to a petition for a writ of actual innocence

HB 1433: Provides that any action by a parent or guardian of an infant for the expenses of curing or attempting to cure the infant from the result of a personal injury or loss of services of the infant shall be brought within the limitations period applicable to the infant’s cause of action.

HB 1434: Creates a rebuttable presumption in actions for the personal injury or wrongful death that a person who, at the time of the injury or death, was an infant or was at least 18 years of age but less than 24 years of age and was enrolled as a full-time student would have earned wages during his lifetime at the federal minimum wage rate in effect at the time the action was filed.

HB 1435: Allows for a study by the National Center for State Courts of a senior judge system.

HB 1477: Revises the Deadman’s Statute by allowing for the corroboration of the testimony of an adverse or interested party by an entry in a business record authored by the adverse or interested party.

HB 1587: Empowers the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to render a determination in response to a petition from a private party or Board staff, filed pursuant to the provisions of the Beer Franchise Act requesting the issuance of a case decision declaring whether contemplated action of a named party would be lawful or unlawful if carried out.

HB 1773: Provides that when a nonsuit is taken within 14 days prior to trial or during trial and a new proceeding on the same cause of action is instituted, the court may award reasonable attorney fees, expenses, and costs to a defendant who was also a defendant in the prior nonsuited action

HB 1847: Expands the class of criminal street gang offenses to include all felony crimes against property, all felony drug offenses, and all felony offenses involving prostitution.

HB 1849: Includes in the privileges for winery and farm winery licensees the ability to operate a contract winemaking facility.

HB 1850: Adds employees of local or regional corrections facilities within the enhanced penalty provision of the assault and battery section.

HB 2178: Authorizes the conduct of a new charitable game known as network bingo.

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